Alonso1, Michelle Valenzuela 2

Copyright 2012, Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute - IBP
This Technical Paper was prepared for presentation at the Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012, held between September, 1720, 2012, in Rio de Janeiro. This Technical Paper was selected for presentation by the Technical Committee of the event according to the information contained in the final paper submitted by the author(s). The organizers are not supposed to translate or correct the submitted papers. The material as it is presented, does not necessarily represent Brazilian Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels Institute’ opinion, or that of its Members or Representatives. Authors consent to the publication of this Technical Paper in the Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 Proceedings.

Regional initiatives are underway to reduce and limit the emissions of greenhouse gases. With CO 2 emissions making up over 80% of the greenhouse gases, cap-and-trade programs will focus on those industries that consume the most energy. Refineries are among the top energy consumers and are seeking opportunities to reduce usage. With tightening margins, energy management programs will not only help refineries meet CO 2 emission regulations, but can also provide a competitive advantage. With the trend towards heavier and higher sulfur containing crudes, refineries are increasing processing capabilities, which can include capital-intensive projects and additional energy consumption. Energy conservation plans should include optimization of these processes. One area to consider includes the acid gas removal systems in refineries. Through the selection and use of optimal solvents and implementation of energy efficiency techniques, which require minimal capital investment and expenditures, refineries can reduce energy usage, overall CO 2 emissions, and total cost in acid gas systems. This paper will discuss these approaches and share case studies detailing the implementation and results.

1. Introduction
Despite the lack of a Global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction agreement, regional schemes are being developed to limit CO2 and other GHG emissions to the atmosphere. In the United States, the state of California is moving forward with regulations that will cap emissions from installations producing over 25.000 tons CO2e/year. Equipment such as boilers and fired-heaters, commonly used in refineries for energy generation, are included in the law and will be obligated to reduce CO2 emissions. To reduce CO2 emissions, refineries often rely on energy efficiency improvements. Three types of energy efficiency projects include: 1) Equipment efficiency—the replacement of aging assets with high-efficiency technology 2) Operational efficiency—the use of energy management and operating strategies to optimize energyintensive assets 3) “Chemical” or solvent efficiency—the use of improved chemicals to reduce overall energy requirements of equipment In reducing overall energy consumption, it is also important to consider regulations and overall plant emissions. The trend towards higher sulfur-containing crude products affects energy consumption of refineries. To meet stringent regulations for ultra-low sulfur fuels in the global market, refineries must increase processing capabilities to accommodate a heavier, sour crude slate. This includes upgrading hydrotreating capacity to address the additional sulfur load and adding acid gas removal systems to treat the resulting H2S. The result is overall increased energy demand and CO2 emissions. The question then becomes, “Which is more important: energy consumption and CO2 emissions or

______________________________ 1 Technical Service Engineer - The Dow Chemical Company 2 Technical Service Manager - The Dow Chemical Company

Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 environmental regulations and overall plant emissions?” The answer is “both”. Specific to acid gas removal systems, it is possible to reduce overall energy requirements while maintaining environmental compliance with the use of operational and chemical efficiency. Often refineries design and operate acid gas removal systems with the sole objective of meeting permitted sulfur emission limits. MEA (monoethanolamine) and DEA (diethanolamine) are amine solvents commonly used for removal of H2S from sour gas streams. Refineries maintain low solvent concentrations to reduce degradation products and lessen the corrosion potential. Less amine in the system requires increased circulation rates and more aggressive stripping of the lean amine to meet stringent H2S and SO2 regulations. These practices result in excessive energy consumption and, subsequently, excessive CO2 emissions. Energy conservation has become a challenge for refineries already struggling with tightening margins. Thus, solutions to reduce energy demand should focus on minimal capital expenditures. Specific to gas treating systems, there are two ways to reduce energy consumption and optimize efficiency in gas treating systems. Both require minimal capital investment. The first requires an understanding of the system performance. With the use of mass and energy balances, a plan is developed to optimize appropriate operating conditions and key performance indicators to reduce energy consumption while maintaining environmental performance. The second further improves energy efficiency by upgrading the chemistry of the solvent to increase capacity and reduce required processing energy (i.e. reboiler duties). This paper will discuss these two approaches by providing real life examples that include the successful implementation of the following tools and methods:  Use of process simulations to determine optimal conditions  Establishing key performance indicators and baseline performance  Selecting and comparing solvents to meet plant emissions and energy objectives  Managing solvent hygiene and establishing a routine analysis

2. Environmental Drivers for Energy Efficiency
Reports have shown that greenhouse gases, which include Carbon Dioxide, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide, may contribute to the global warming effect by trapping radiation on the earth’s surface. Global and regional programs have been initiated to reduce the emission of GHG. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty established in 1992 with the intent of stabilizing GHG emissions as a global response to climate change. To further enforce efforts towards emission reduction, the UNFCCC adopted the Kyoto Protocol in 2007 legally binding developed countries to GHG reduction targets through 2012. Brazil's role in the negotiating process of the Kyoto Protocol (1996-2001) was driven by the definition of national interest according to the main dimensions detailed below:  Affirm the right to development as a key component of world order, in continuity with a classic pillar of Brazilian foreign policy.  Promote a vision of development associated with environmental sustainability, in correspondence with the great growth of environmental awareness in Brazil and its translation into national and state policies. In December 2009, the then-President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, signed a law requiring a reduction in Brazilian GHG emissions by 39 percent by 2020 to meet a commitment made at the Copenhagen climate change summit. Equipment such as boilers and fired-heaters, commonly used in refineries for energy generation, are included in the law and will be obligated to reduce CO2 emissions. Brazil and Mexico lead the way with 255 and 182 projects, respectively, for GHG reduction registered at the UN for approval. Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon announced that Mexico will voluntarily cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 million tons a year by 2012 through the use of more efficient cars and power plants as well as reductions in gas leaks and flaring by the oil industry. The cut represents approximately 8 percent of the country’s emissions, according to the environment ministry. Mexico, the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Latin America, accounts for about 1.5 percent of the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases with the country’s state-run oil industry as a major emitter. For Latin American and Caribbean Countries only eight have individual plans: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru, all depending on international funding. Additionally, eight member nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), or ALBA, including Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela opposed the carbon bonds market, the mechanism included in the Kyoto Protocol that allows industrialized nations to meet their emission reduction targets by purchasing carbon credits in low-emission countries.

3. Opportunities for Energy Management
Although the trend towards energy efficiency seems relatively recent with the latest global and domestic implementation of GHG initiatives, refineries have long been accustomed to energy management and optimization 2

Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 programs as a means of staying competitive. As energy prices increased in the 1970s-1980s, refineries were forced to evaluate overall plant energy demand to find opportunities to reduce fuel, natural gas, steam, and electricity usage. Overall, since the initiation of energy management in the 1970s, refineries have reduced energy usage by 30%. However, the increasing use of sour crudes in combination with stricter control and accountability for overall emissions has led the refining industry to revisit energy goals and strategies. As crude slates change, refineries are implementing system upgrades and revamps to increase flexibility to process heavy sour feeds. To remove the increased levels of sulfur, nitrogen, and other catalyst poisoning components, hydrotreating capacity must also increase. These capital and resource intensive projects are increasing demand on utilities: electricity, fired heaters, and steam. Thus, refineries are considering energy conservation strategies to stabilize or reduce energy demand resulting in reduced CO 2 emissions. Refineries must also consider ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) requirements and environmental regulations when considering energy management plans and goals. Additional hydrotreating capability to remove more sulfur, especially from sour crudes, will result in more sulfur containing waste or “acid” gases (i.e. hydrogen sulfide). Further processing of the acid gases is required before final disposition: emission, incineration, combustion, etc. Typically, refineries use amine-treating systems to process waste gases in refineries. As with the other processing systems in the refinery, amine systems can require a significant amount of energy depending on asset age and condition, acid gas loads, solvent used, and operating parameters. This paper will include energy reduction techniques for amine systems that reduce steam consumption, require minimal or no capital and meet environmental regulations with the use of products, technologies, and services in the Dow AMINE MANAGEMENT SM Program.

4. Refinery Amine Systems
Refinery amine systems are required to effectively remove acid gases from a variety of gas and/or liquid streams to targeted levels. Most U.S. refineries use amine treating systems (Figure 1) consisting of the following equipment: • Absorber: used to “scrub” or remove acid gases from the inlet stream with an amine solvent • Rich amine flash tank: used to separate co-absorbed components (i.e. hydrocarbons) from the rich amine • Lean/Rich Cross Exchanger: used to heat the rich amine solvent by exchange with the hot lean amine from the regenerator • Regenerator (including reboiler): used to steam strip the amine to remove acid gases before recycling to absorber as lean amine • Condenser: used to cool the acid gas stripped from the rich amine; condensed water returns to top of regenerator • Amine cooler: used to cool the lean amine before entering the absorber

Figure 1. Typical Refinery Amine System


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5. Solvent Selection
The development of amine solvents for acid gas treating has evolved from traditional generic amines, monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), and diglycolamine (DGA), to more selective gas treating amines that include diisopropanolainine (DIPA) and methyldiethanolamine (MDEA). The increased selectivity of the amine allows for preferential H2S removal and CO2 “slipping” into the treated gas stream, especially important for improved sulfur plant operations. MDEA, a tertiary amine, eventually became the most common selective solvent due to its resistance to degradation, low tendency for corrosion, higher acid gas loading capacity, and lower energy consumption. The latest development in amine technology has been the introduction of formulated specialty solvents developed to overcome the weaknesses inherent in generic amines. Proprietary additives are combined with the amine offering the greatest potential for system optimization. Initially, formulated solvents were based on MDEA to provide increased H2S selectivity and energy savings. However, additional formulations and products have been developed to provide additional performance benefits in specific refinery applications. Performance solvents, for example, are now available to achieve the following objectives: • Treat acid gas to meet <10ppm H2S specifications in low pressure (i.e. tail gas units) applications while minimizing steam usage • Reduce solvent losses in LPG service • Reduce corrosion rates while increasing capacity • Reduce energy consumption and, in turn, CO2 emissions from utility generation Table 1 below compares the overall performance of the gas treating solvents.


Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 Table 1: Typical Amine Solvents Used in Refinery Acid Gas Treating Systems

Amine Formulated Solvent MDEA DIPA DGA DEA MEA

Acid Gas Increasing Selectivity Energy Savings Very high H2S Removal High H2S Removal Some H2S Removal Total Acid Gas Removal Total Acid Gas Removal Total Acid Gas Removal

The energy savings realized with formulated solvents stem from a reduction in sensible heat, a lower heat of reaction, and a reduction in necessary stripping steam. Tertiary amine-based solvents can operate at higher concentrations (up to 50wt% solution) without increased concern for corrosion. Therefore, circulation rates can be decreased, and the sensible heat requirement in the regenerator reboiler is reduced. The heat of reaction for the formulated solvents and tertiary amine is lower than primary and secondary amines. This reduces the amount of energy required to regenerate the solvent. Furthermore, formulated solvents can tolerate higher acid gas loading, thus reducing the stripping steam requirement and demand on the reboiler. Identifying the optimal solvent is critical when reducing energy consumption. Many factors should be considered to ensure environmental compliance requirements are achieved as well. Nevertheless, even with the best solvent selection, operation of the amine unit is equally important. To maximize the performance potential of the amine solvent, the amine unit should be optimized. This includes routine audits of operations to ensure circulation rates, loadings, energy usage, and amine temperatures are consistent with acid gas volumes and required treating performance. This will lead to further and sustainable energy savings.

6. Amine System Performance and Management
A proactive approach to managing amine systems is required to provide both economic and performance benefits. The Dow AMINE MANAGEMENT SM program is a comprehensive service program developed to provide sustainable results that reduce overall energy costs for amine treating systems while meeting rapidly changing demands of refinery unit operations. As part of the program, an initial survey of the refinery amine system(s) is performed to gather key operating data (i.e. flows, temperatures, etc) as well as equipment data (i.e. absorber and regenerator design data, reboiler duties, etc). Amine samples are also collected and analyzed. The information collected is used to develop a fundamental understanding of current performance and identify opportunities for improvements. For instance, very low lean loadings (based on the amine analysis) and high overhead regenerator temperatures (based on the operating data collection) could indicate over-circulating or over-stripping of the solvent. This can result in unnecessary energy usage and increased amine losses, which can be remedied by reducing circulation or steam rates. To complete the amine unit evaluation, technical tools are used to outline an improvement plan to meet refinery objectives. These tools include Dow proprietary simulation platforms, routine analytical analysis, pilot plant capabilities, heat stable amine salt management, and extensive knowledge and experience with over 800 global customers. An improvement plan is presented to the refinery, implemented, validated, and sustained through routine visits and system reviews with Dow Engineers. Further information on the key technical tools used in the AMINE MANAGEMENTSM Program to deliver energy savings results are found in subsequent sections.


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7. The Use of Simulation Tools
Dow proprietary simulation platforms are used to develop operational solutions to meet energy reduction and/or other targets. State of the art simulation tools provide design and operating information to help achieve the following: • Optimize amine flow requirements and treatment results • Gas treating solvent selection (including formulated solvents) • Exploration of process limitations • Process Flow Diagram • Material balance with stream data tables • Exchanger duties and other design information The simulation output provides details on the current system performance, expected benefits and resulting optimized performance, and limitations of the amine system. An example of a temperature profile output is shown in Figure 2. Under ideal liquid-to-gas (L/G) ratios, the temperature profile of the absorber tower is shown with the “temperature bulge” or exotherm at the bottom of the tower. However, in an effort to aggressively reduce steam usage, it is possible to reduce the liquid-to-gas ratio such that the temperature bulge shifts to the middle or top of the absorber tower. This can compromise the treating capability and H 2S removal of the absorber system. When optimizing systems to reduce energy usage, it is important to understand limits of the process. An upset in the amine unit affecting a downstream unit or causing process downtime can quickly minimize the value of a poorly implemented energy savings plan.

190 180 170 Temperature (F) 160 150 140 130 120 110 100 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Tray (Top=1) Figure 2. Amine Absorber Temperature Profile with Normal L/G
Vapor Temp (F) Liquid Temp (F)

8. The Use of Pilot Plant Capabilities
In conjunction with the use of simulations tools, pilot-plant results are beneficial in modeling simulation output or plant performance, developing customer specific formulations, and validating operational improvements. As part of the AMINE MANAGEMENTSM Program, pilot plant capabilities have helped: • Demonstrate lower energy and CO2 removal with solvent conversion • Quantify organic sulfur removal performance for new gas treating applications • Validate CO2 slip and improve H2S removal in low pressure applications (i.e. Tail Gas Units) • Screen new additives and formulations for better acid gas removal at with less energy usage


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9. Solvent Hygiene
Often times, energy management programs focus on equipment or process optimization. However, specific to amine systems, routine solvent analysis is key in proactively identifying opportunities for energy savings. Monitoring amine solvent health is essential in maintaining optimal system reliability and operational performance. Ideally, routine sample analysis should include identification and quantification of all the components in the solvent. This would include amine concentration, acid gas content, individual degradation components, specific contaminants, and water content. Contaminants in the system, such as formate, thiosulfate, thiocyanate, and other organic and inorganic acids, bind the amine to form Heat Amine Stable Salts (HSAS), which reduce functionality. High HSAS levels reduce system capacity, which can require increased steam usage and/or higher amine circulation rate to maintain system performance. Thus, it is important to monitor and maintain low levels of HSAS in the system. Acid Gas loadings in the lean amine can serve as an indicator of stripping performance. In refinery systems, H2S is present and measured as acid gas loading in the amine solvent. The absence of H2S in the lean amine sample could indicate the amine is over-stripped. Operating data would then be used to confirm regenerator conditions and steam rates could be reduced. As part of the AMINE MANAGEMENT SM Program, a routine solvent analysis program is developed to monitor and trend solvent health as a means of determining system performance, anticipating and/or troubleshooting problems, and identifying opportunities for system improvement.

10. Case Studies
The following case studies will show how the implementation of the AMINE MANAGEMENT SM Program led to significant cost savings for each refinery. Case study details are described below. In all cases, solvent selection coupled with an optimization plan led to improved treating performance, reduced steam consumption, and lower CO 2 emissions. The refineries below continue to use the Dow AMINE MANAGEMENT SM Program to proactively identify opportunities for optimization and improved operational performance. 10.1. Case Study #1 A mid-size, U.S. refinery completed a capacity expansion project to increase heavy crude processing capability. The expansion was successful but added strain on the utilities and downstream assets increasing energy costs and limiting amine treating capacity. The shift in the crude slate increased the sulfur content and resulting acid gas volumes. Although the refinery was equipped with a complex amine treating system consisting of three regenerator trains and approximately 20 gas and liquid contactors, the current solvent and system conditions were unable to maintain reliable acid gas removal from the process streams. A comprehensive, on-site evaluation of the refinery operations was conducted using the AMINE MANAGEMENT SM Program and included detailed simulations of the existing amine systems with a comprehensive review of maintenance and operating procedures. The assessment showed that the refinery could achieve the following objectives: • Address increased acid gas volumes without additional capital expenditure • Decrease operating costs by reducing energy use • Increase system reliability by reducing corrosion The AMINE MANAGEMENT Proposal recommended a solvent upgrade from the current solvent, DEA, to UCARSOL™ LE-713, a high capacity, formulated solvent for primary amine treating systems in refineries. Recommended operating concentration for DEA is less than 30% due to degradation that increases corrosion. However, for the UCARSOL specialty solvent, the operating concentration can target up to 50 wt%, increasing the capacity available to remove acid gas. With the upgrade to the UCARSOL product, the refinery increased solvent concentration from 25-28 wt% to 40 wt% allowing for reduced circulation rates and stream usage with the added benefit of reduced corrosion potential. In addition to the solvent upgrade, process and solvent conditions were optimized to minimize environmental exceedances and improve system reliability. Amine loading targets and steam-to-lean amine (lb/gal) ratios were established to prevent over-stripping. The lean loadings were set at 0.01-0.015 (mol acid gas/mol amine) and rich amine loadings were increased to target 0.4 – 0.45 m/m allowing for reduced steam usage or, alternatively, increased treating capacity. Steam-to-lean ratios were reduced to 0.8-0.85 lb/gal indicating less steam usage. The steam-to-lean ratio is a 7

Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 quick means of determining the amount of steam used to regenerate, or strip, the amine. It should not be used as a replacement for reflux ratio. When optimizing the system, targets and/or limits should account for occasional process swings (i.e. increase in H2S content in inlet gas, increasing gas content, equipment fouling, etc). One of the regeneration systems at the refinery was able to achieve less than 0.80 lb/gal steam-to-lean ratio without impacting treating performance at current conditions; however, the system target was set at 0.80lb/gal to ensure safe operation and avoid H 2S and downstream SO2 (i.e. Sulfur Recovery Unit processing) exceedances. The overall steam usage by the amine system regenerators is shown over a 4 year period (2002-2006) in Figure 3. Energy and cost savings including the upgrade to the UCARSOL™ LE-713 specialty solvent resulted in significant energy savings – 175.000 MMBtu/y, which translates to approximately $1.7 million/year in cost savings and a reduction of approximately 10.000 tons/year CO2e emissions. Total energy usage was reduced by nine percent and better utilization of the new solvent helped reduce amine losses by 17 percent. In addition, utilizing the AMINE MANAGEMENTSM Program extended the performance of the existing amine system by increasing acid gas removal capacity, avoiding capital investment and optimizing overall operating costs.

Figure 3. Steam Usage for Refinery Amine Regenerators 10.2. Case Study #2 This case study will show how a systematic approach using the Dow AMINE MANAGEMENT SM Program was able to address the refinery needs. Initially, refinery objectives were focused on identifying a new solvent to enhance processing flexibility; however, through the years opportunities to reduce solvent losses, enhance treating performance, and reduce energy usage have resulted in over 350.000 MMBTU/y savings and a reduction of approximately 20.000 tons/yr CO2e. A mid-size refinery in the U.S. used two generic solvents to treat process gas in the main and tail gas units. However, to increase system reliability and flexibility, the refinery moved to an integrated amine treating system requiring only one solvent for both primary and tail gas systems. The solvent would be required to meet treating needs for the contactors on the main system, including LPG liquid treaters, as well as provide CO 2 slipping and H2S selectivity for the tail gas application. A comprehensive evaluation of the system was conducted using the AMINE MANAGEMENT Program to meet the following refinery objectives: • Provide a single amine solvent to be used refinery wide • Provide enhanced total sulfur removal • Maintain adequate CO2 slip while removing meeting H2S removal targets A new specialty solvent was developed to meet the refinery needs. The refinery upgraded to a UCARSOL™ solvent formulated for both primary and tail gas applications. Although the target operating concentration for the UCARSOL solvent is 40-50wt%, the refinery operated at less than 30wt% solvent concentration to minimize losses. Tools from the AMINE MANAGEMENT Program helped track and reduce losses by 34% (as shown in Figure 4) to an amount that would be theoretically expected. 8

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Figure 4. Refinery Amine Loss Reduction With losses optimized, another comprehensive evaluation by Dow engineers was performed and showed that increasing solvent concentration to 45wt% would result in a 26% decrease in energy costs, totaling a net savings of over $1MM/year. Conversely, if energy usage was not a key objective, the concentration upgrade would increase overall treating capacity of the amine system by over 30%. Additional recommendations included reducing the steam-to-lean ratio to target 0.80-0.90 lb/gal and adding improved process control logic to maintain optimal circulation rates. The refinery converted to a specialty UCARSOL solvent with higher concentration and implemented the optimization recommendations, which resulted in a reduced amine circulation rate. The lower rate led to an overall 30% decrease in regenerator duty (shown in Figure 5). The overall energy reduction was approximately 40 MMBTU/h. These improvements translate to 350.000 MMBTU/y energy savings, 20.000 tons/y CO2e emission reduction, and $1.1MM/year in total cost savings.
Chart 1 - Reboiler Duty

140 120

100 80 60 40 20 0 2005 2006 2007 Survey Year 2009

Figure 5. Refinery Trend in Total Regenerator Reboiler Duty 10.3. Case Study #3 With the flexibility to process large volumes of heavy crude, a large, U.S. refinery needed to achieve the following objectives to become more competitive: • Increase gas treating capacity • Improve system reliability • Reduce total operating costs


Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference 2012 The existing amine treating system used MEA. Although MEA is aggressive in total acid gas removal, the primary amine readily degrades, thus increasing the corrosion potential of the solvent. To minimize corrosion, the amine requires frequent and costly reclamation to remove degradation by-products. Operating concentrations are limited to 20wt%, and regeneration for MEA requires more stripping steam due to a higher heat of reaction as compared to formulated solvents. The use of MEA limited long-term capacity goals for the refinery. An evaluation of the amine system was performed using the AMINE MANAGEMENTSM Program. The evaluation determined that a solvent upgrade and optimization would help the refinery increase treating capacity by 48%, reduce amine losses by 50%, and reduce energy consumption by approximately 500,000 MMBTU/y. A two-step approach was developed and implemented to help the refinery achieve outlined objectives. Phase 1: Solvent Upgrade The refinery upgraded from MEA to a UCARSOL™ Solvent designed to minimize energy usage and meet acid gas removal requirements in refinery applications. With the formulated solvent, the operating concentration was increased to an optimal range, and steam-to-lean ratios were reduced by 20%. Phase 1 of the optimization plan resulted in an immediate circulation rate reduction and an energy savings of over 400.000 MMBTU/y, translating to 22.000 tons CO2e/y reduced emissions. Furthermore, the upgrade to the UCARSOL™ Solvent occurred with no shutdown or incidents. A routine analytical plan was implemented to ensure optimal solvent and system performance. Solvent losses were also tracked, monitored, and improved. Overall, solvent health improved, solvent losses were reduced by 59%, and corrosion decreased. Phase 2: Optimization The next step was to focus on optimization of the amine treating system. The individual gas contactors were evaluated using simulation techniques from the AMINE MANAGEMENT SM Program. Proprietary equations were developed and implemented to optimize circulation rates, and rich loadings were increased to target an optimal range. This resulted in an additional 15% reduction in circulation rates and 300.000 MMBTU/y in energy savings, with a further reduction of 18.000 tons CO2e/y. The two-phase approach led to 700.000 MMBTU/y in energy savings, a reduction of 40.000 tons CO2e/y emissions, a 59% decrease in solvent losses, and improved system performance with a total cost savings of over $3MM/year.

11. Conclusions
Energy conservation as a means of reducing CO2 emissions and total operating costs is a target objective for refineries. As crude slates shift towards heavier, sour crudes, it is necessary to consider cost-efficient means of increasing processing flexibility while heeding environmental regulatory requirements. Specific to acid gas removal systems, this paper reviewed the implementation of AMINE MANAGEMENT SM Program tools and techniques to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, resulting in a reduction in total operating costs. In the case studies discussed, upgrading from generic solvents to formulated solvents improved overall system performance and increased gas treating capacity, meeting refinery objectives to address process expansion and flexibility needs. With the use of proprietary simulation tools, optimal solvents were selected based on the refineries’ needs, and solvent upgrades were safely implemented with no environmental exceedances. Operating limitations were identified and targets for optimization were set specific to acid gas loadings and stripping steam ratios. Routine analytical plans were established to monitor solvent performance and proactively address system issues. Additional capacity gains and energy savings were realized with proprietary equations for individual absorbers and improved system process logic. The successful implementation of these optimization techniques, coupled with the solvent upgrade, led to 1.225.000 MMBTU/y in energy savings, a reduction of 70.000 tons CO2e/year emissions, and nearly $6 MM in operating cost savings combined for the three case studies discussed.Equations must be left aligned with a 12.5 mm indenting. Equations must be detached from the rest of the text by skipping a line before and two lines after it. The font size must be compatible with that of the text.


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12. References
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